Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Upcoming in January

What:    First Coast Pastel Society meeting
When:   Saturday, January 4, 2014, 10 AM to 12 noon
Where:  Southeast Branch Library, 6670 U.S. 1, St Augustine, FL 32086
              (easy access from I-95 exit 305)

Wow folks. Here we are headed into 2014. Come join us as we celebrate our 2nd birthday! Our meeting this Saturday will be at the St. Augustine Southeast Branch Library which is easily accessible at the intersection of Route 1 (Dixie Highway) and 206 - exit 305 off I-95 if that is the route you take.

The meeting should be a fun and though-provoking one, with a round-table discussion about the topic:

Art: "Painting What you Love vs. Painting What Sells"

We'll be having a lively discussion on this topic! Please bring along a painting that you thought would sell but hasn't, or one that you really love but that you feel hasn't gotten the attention you thought it deserved.

Speaking of selling our work, we just took down our show at Gallery 26 in Melrose yesterday. Our show was a great success. The women from the gallery said it was the first pastel show they had ever put on, and it got rave reviews from customers, some of whom said it was the best show the gallery had ever had. The women from the gallery all want to take pastel lessons now.

And we sold *five paintings* which they told me was the most paintings they had ever sold from a single show, so great work FCPS. Special congratulations go to our selling artists: Perry Russell, Lisa Fiore, Linda Hart Green, and Steve Johnson - who sold TWO paintings.

(one of Steve Johnson's paintings which sold)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December brunch and still life painting

It was our last meeting of the year, with Christmas looming on the horizon, and yet the temperatures made it feel as though summer had returned. However we all still had holiday spirits as we gathered for our second annual holiday brunch and still-life painting session. This year we met at the Art Studio in St. Augustine Beach.

The Art Studio is located right on the beach! And it has plenty of free parking to boot. It was a perfect spot as it lent itself to outdoor plein air painting as well as the indoor still lifes.

Once again our President, Lyn Asselta, outdid herself with the wonderful feast she laid out for us - quiche and breads and fruit. All yummy. A special treat were the tangerines that Kay Deuben brought from the tree belonging to Jimmy Blackwell. Jimmy is a faithful attendee at our meetings but was hospitalized this week with pneumonia. We all signed a card for Jimmy, and we send him our love and prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

We had a great turnout for the meeting and even had to scurry around for more chairs when it came time to sit down for brunch.

There was certainly more than enough for everyone to get their fill of food to fortify themselves for the painting session to follow.

Vice President Richard Lundgren and Treasurer Rick Petersen provided two different still lifes for members to choose between.

This is the still life that Richard set up.

And this is the still life that Rick set up. 

After brunch we had a break, and then got down to painting. Though with the weather so nice two of our members decided to go outdoors and paint. And who can blame them? But the rest of us enjoyed painting in the studio.

I'm not sure I got shots of everyone's paintings. I know I didn't see what the two outdoors painters did. Marie and Steve - I hope you will share what you did with us!

But here are shots of many of the paintings, all in various states of completion of course. It would be lots of fun to see them all as finished works.

These first two deserve special recognition because they are both TINY, done on supports that were only about postcard sized. Wow, amazing to get such great detail in such small spaces.

And here are shots of many of the rest, all done on more "normal" sized papers.

Happy holidays and Happy New Year everyone. We look forward to seeing you all again in January 2014. As always, stay tuned here for more details.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Our Melrose opening

Gallery 26 was resplendent tonight. Soft lights played on the outside of the building, and inside the lighting was subdued. Lovely Christmas decorations added to the serenity of the scene.

Light refreshments were actually enough for a full meal! The refreshment table was a work of art itself, and there was also plenty of wine, water and soft drinks.

We were also treated to classical piano playing in the background.

Richard Lundgren, Carron Wedlund, Kay Deuben 

We had a great turnout of FCPS artists also represented at the show. Everyone one of them agreed that the show, which has looked lovely when the work was delivered, looked every better hanging in the gallery.

Kim Daniel (photo by Carron Wedlund)

Betty from Gallery 26 did a wonderful job hanging the show! The gallery, the show, the refreshments, the music. All were superb.

Rick and Patty Petersen 

Rick and Patty Petersen (photo by Carron Wedlund)

As I was sitting on the bench I overheard a woman talking to Betty - a complete stranger to the FCPS - saying that she loved the show, and thought it was just about the best show she had ever seen there!

Karen Rose and Richard Lundgren

We were also pleased and excited that the group had already had two sales, even before the show had officially opened.

So congratulations to Steve Johnson for his sale of this wonderful marsh scene.

And to Linda Hart Green for selling this cool old car. Let's hope we see some more sales!

John Cusick and Joseph Daniel

I think even our two youngest art critics enjoyed the show. They certainly enjoyed the cookies, and playing with one another, at any rate. :-)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our upcoming December meeting

What: FCPS Holiday brunch and still life painting
When:  Saturday, December 7, 2013
Where: The Art Studio, 370A AIA Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach, FL
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

It's hard to believe we are completing our second year as an organization, and next Saturday we will be celebrating our second holiday brunch and still life painting session.

This year we will be at The Art Studio in St. Augustine Beach.

As you can see from this photo, taken at one of our workshops, it's a large, light, airy space, with plenty of FREE parking! Note we are starting an hour earlier than our usual 10 AM in order to give us all time to share a meal together. We will then have a couple traditional still lifes set up. But The Art Studio is right on the beach so, weather permitting, folks may also choose a beach plein air scene.

Note that this morning is the day of the holiday parade in St. Augustine, so AVOID GOING THROUGH TOWN - but come across on route 312. It you turn east on 312 from route 1, for example, you continue along 312 and straight across as you reach A1A, and this road will eventually curve around, and you will find The Art Studio on your left. We hope to see you ALL there!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An exciting holiday opportunity

What: Artist's Reception and monthly Art Walk
Where, Gallery 26, 301 State Route 26, Melrose, FL
When:  Friday, December 6, 6-9 PM

Wow, what an exciting opportunity has arisen for the First Coast Pastel Society. Many thanks to member Linda Hart Green who established the initial connection that led to our opportunity to have a member show at Gallery 26 in Melrose, FL.

The whole idea arose very recently, so members who wanted to participate had to work fast to have entries ready in just a couple short weeks!

But it was well worth the effort. Gallery 26 is a wonderful light, airy space, and a very nice place indeed for us to have this show. The month of December is a fun one in Melrose with all sorts of events going on for the holidays, and now our member show can be part of it.

Melrose  is quite a long distance away for most FCPS members, so we arranged for several members who agreed to drive down, and we all carried works there for other artists. We were met by Betty Bennett from the gallery who gave us a warm welcome.

Considering the short lead time we had for this show it was great that so many members stepped up to participate, and we have almost 50 pieces of work entered in the show.

The paintings were all stacked around the perimeter of the gallery as we unloaded them from the car, and as the previous show was coming down.

As I walked around the room I was struck again by the amazing caliber of the work. The First Coast Pastel Society has every right to be proud of this show!

Betty warmly welcomed us to show up for their monthly Art Walk and reception on the first Friday of the month, December 6, from 6-9 PM.

Despite the distance I think it's well worth it, and it would be great to get a nice turnout from our FCPS participants and other members and friends as well.

It's hard to believe our organization is not even quite two years old. When you see the work in this show you can see there was definitely a need for a pastel group in the Northeast Florida area.

So thanks also to our President, Lyn Asselta, for being the driving force behind getting us off the ground.

I heard from Betty Bennett via email that the show was hung that afternoon. In her words:
The show is hung and it looks  beautiful in the Gallery 

Of course these are not great photos - pastels under glass don't photograph well. And I was not trying to talk formal photos - just snaps to give an idea of the scope of the show.

I apologize to artists whose work I missed. But that means you all just have to come to Studio 26 to see the show for yourselves! I hope to see you there.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A thought-provoking November meeting

Today we held our meeting at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, a very lovely facility indeed, with impressive gallery space, and wonderful classrooms such as the one used for our meeting - spacious and with great lighting. We will hold our spring juried show here, and got to preview the space where our work will hang.

Despite the monsoon-like rains that caused lots of street flooding we had 18 attendees show up at the meeting this morning.

Those who braved the weather were treated well. The spread of food was so amazing it almost looked like our holiday party. We certainly had plenty to eat and drink! Special thanks to Carron Wedlund and Jimmy Blackwell for providing a lot of the food and drink. The tangerines from Jimmy's own tree were delicious.

While we feasted our president, Lyn Asselta, led us in an overview of the discussion topic of the morning: Artists' bios, statements and resumés, with ideas about what they should and should not include. We also had lots of examples to review.

After her overview we broke into teams to work on the questions presented to help us come up with ideas for our own bios, statements and resumés. The discussion was thought-provoking, and everyone, from experienced artists, to newly fledged artists came away with ideas they could include.

Our meeting next month will be a holiday brunch and still life painting session held at The Art Studio in St. Augustine Beach, so stay tuned here for more details on that.

In the meantime, for those who missed the meeting, here are some of the review questions:

What is an Artist's Bio? 
An artist's bio gives someone an insight into what has influenced you as an artist, and briefly states your process, and your reason for making art (generally written in third person)

Questions to ask yourself:
1) What art/life/educational experiences have led you to your current stage as an artist?
2) Do you have a particular technique that people might be interested in?
3) Are there any artists who have influenced your work?
4) What/who motivates you to paint, and how does it affect your subject matter?
5) Is there something in particular that you would like to be noted for?

What is an Artist's Statement? 
An artists's statement generally is written in the first person, and briefly states the philosophy you wish to share with the world about your art.

Questions to ask yourself: 
1) Do you have a personal philosophy related to your art?
2) Is there a reason you choose to paint particular subject matter?
3) Is there something you'd like to tell the world about your art?

Note: Some too-often used phrases:
- "And I've never looked back..."
- "trying to capture a moment in time ..."

What is an Artist's Resumé? 
An artist's resumé is a chronological listing of your accomplishments. It is generally divided into years and lists of shows, awards and other honors that you have been the recipient of.

It also clearly shows the artist's name, provides complete contact information for the artist, and usually lists professional memberships, and gallery representation (if any). 

Questions to ask yourself? 
1) How many years should you go back with your resumé?
2) Have all your noted accomplishments been directly related to your art career?
3) Which galleries currently represent your work?
4) Have you clearly noted your contact information?
5) What sort of honors/awards have you won for your art?
6) Have you noted art-related residencies and scholarships?
7) Do you hold memberships in art-related organizations?